An affiliate of the American Optometric Association, the RIOA is the only professional organization in our state dedicated to advancing and protecting our shared profession and, as important, the interest of our patients who entrust us to provide excellent eye care in our state.

Driven by our volunteer doctors, our state association's history is well established. We are an active lobby each year and enjoy strong relationships with our elected leaders. The RIOA is your voice in various state legislative and regulatory bodies.      

Our track record of success is real.  Take, for example, just a few of our legislative victories.  

  • Staved off 1-800 CONTACTS' attempt to undermine the profession / diminish the importance of the doctor / patient relationship (2015, 2016)
  • Passed a law that prohibits vision care plans from mandating on all optometric providers non-covered or unpaid discounts (2014)
  • Solidified an optometrist's ability to prescribe hydrocodone-containing medications via an important update in state law (2014)
  • Defended important patient and consumer protections to limit the power of over-the-counter readers that can be sold in our state (2014)
  • Successfully defeated legislation that would have removed an existing and important protection for optometrists against civil actions relating to the use of a motor vehicle. (2014)
  • Limited the length of time for health insurers to take back paid claims to 18 months. (2013)
  • Ensured optometric care is an important component of any health care plan sold on the state's health exchange. (2012)
  • Fought for and earned important access protections for patients by mandating an end to forcing optometrists to enroll in a discount vision care plan in order to see and treat patients for medical conditions.  (2012)
  • Defeated Gov. Lincoln Chafee's proposal to tax eyeglasses and contact lenses. (2011)
  • Expanded an optometrists scope of practice in the state to include oral medications needed to treat many ocular conditions.  (2008)
  • Worked to ensure that optometrists are reimbursed the same as ophthalmologists for performing the same care - parity. (2006)

In addition to our lobby efforts, the RIOA provides its' optometrists with important and timely news relating to insurance issues as well as billing and healthcare reform matters.  

Our state association has a rich and deep history that's produced tangible and effective results.  These results have directly benefited ALL Ocean State optometrists and their patients.   

RIOA members enjoy our robust and first-class continuing education program that provides ample opportunities to network and discuss best practices with their optometric colleagues.  

Our Association is only as strong as its volunteer members who drive our success and we encourage our members to attend our meetings and play an important role in what we do!   

The RIOA is a strong organization and is made even stronger with you on our team.  Thanks you for bolstering our ranks and for your support of our shared profession!   

-          The Members of the RIOA

Become a Member